Geography Archives: South Korea

  • Korea: Still an Unknown War

    Bruce Cumings.  The Korean War: A History.  New York: Modern Library, 2010.  Cloth, $24.00, pp 288. Any time that a book appears by Bruce Cumings, one of our foremost scholars on Korea, it merits attention.  His latest book, The Korean War, is particularly welcome given the recent sharp increase in tensions on the Korean Peninsula. […]

  • Noam Chomsky on Hopes and Prospects for Activism: “We Can Achieve a Lot”

    Acclaimed philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He shared his perspectives on international affairs, economics, and other themes in an interview conducted at his office in Boston on September 14, 2010. Keane Bhatt: Your new book Hopes and Prospects begins with the story of […]

  • China’s Export Conundrum

      In 2009, the European Union, United States and Mexico filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against China’s export restrictions on certain raw materials, including bauxite, coke, fluorspar, silicon carbide and zinc.  They said that, firstly, these constraints — in the form of export taxes, quotas, licences and so on — caused […]

  • Fed Bashing at the G-20: A Return to the Gold Standard Anyone?

    A strange thing happened on the way to the G-20 meetings: world elite opinion has turned against the Federal Reserve’s “Quantitative Easing” (QE) program, the only significant “Keynesian” macroeconomic policy being implemented anywhere in the face of massive unemployment in much of the developed world; and this criticism is garnering some support from strange places, […]

  • G20: The United States and Neo-mercantilism

    Here comes the travail of crisis.  The more they talk about coordination, the more it becomes necessary to concentrate on the conflicts revealed by the very talk of coordination.  The G20 finance ministers’ meeting, held in South Korea on Friday, has already been mortgaged by the case opened by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner regarding […]

  • Playing the Currency Blame Game

    The slanging match over currency and monetary policies at the annual Fund-Bank meetings, held over the second weekend of October, points to the disarray in global economic governance.  While the US sought to mobilise IMF support for an effort to realign exchange rates and ensure an appreciation of the renminbi in the wake of China’s […]

  • Just Say No to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

      The free trade push has begun again.  Both U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak are calling for ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by the two countries’ trade representatives in April 2007 but has yet to be approved by either the U.S. Congress or the South […]

  • Sanctions and Iran’s Regional and “Eastern” Options

    We noticed a small news item, reported from Tehran, which we think deserves more media attention and reflection in the West than it received.  According to the story, Chinese Transport Minister Liu Zhijun is expected to visit Iran Sunday to sign a $2 billion contract to build a 360-mile-long railway linking key Iranian destinations that […]

  • Who Will Allow Brazil to Reach Its Economic Potential?

    The biggest economic question facing Brazil, as for most developing countries, is when it will achieve its potential economic growth.  For Brazil, there is a simple, most relevant comparison: its pre-1980 — or pre-neoliberal — past. From 1960-1980, income per person — the most basic measure that economists have of economic progress — in Brazil […]

  • Iran’s Proposal to Russia: Enrichment Is Still Key

    August 26, 2010 Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said today that the Islamic Republic has proposed to Russia that the two countries create a joint consortium to fabricate fuel for the Bushehr reactor and other nuclear power plants that Iran plans to build in the future.  Salehi reportedly […]

  • Sending a Message, Setting a Precedent: Nuclear Powers vs. Iran, Brazil, Turkey, and Other Emerging Powers

      In international politics, if an action seems reckless or callous and the ones taking it are not certified loonies, usually it’s because it was made to look that way, on purpose.  To send a message. Take Israel’s attack in international waters on a civilian flotilla that resulted in the death of nine Turkish passengers. […]

  • Iranian Sociology and Its Discontents

    I recently returned from the quadrennial International Sociology Association’s World Congress held in Gothenburg, Sweden.  It’s kind of like the World Cup of sociology.  There I sat in on a session organized by the Iranian Sociology Association, where a few presenters, including its president Hossein Serajzadeh, discussed the state of social science in Iran.  I […]

  • The Dollar Question: Where Are We?

      The global crisis has led some to question the dollar’s place as the dominant currency.  This column discusses three camps in the literature: those advocating a new synthetic global currency, those arguing that a new reserve currency will emerge, and those suggesting a return to sharing the role.  It concludes that talk of the […]

  • A Nuclear Revival?

      Justin Pemberton, dir.  The Nuclear Comeback.  DVD. New York: Icarus Films, 2007.  53 minutes. Are we on the brink of a nuclear revival?  Should we be?  The Nuclear Comeback, an absorbing documentary video, is titled declaratively but sprinkles question marks.  The Nuclear Comeback embarks on a tour of some of the high and low […]

  • Brazil and Iran: Our Motives and the Bullying Trio

      Despite what the experts of barefoot diplomacy1 never stop repeating, there is nothing even remotely anti-American in the Brazilian position on Iran: our motives, unlike those of the bullying trio (USA, France, United Kingdom), are clear, transparent and openly stated several times. We support the peaceful development of nuclear energy.  We do not believe […]

  • South Africa: An Unfinished Revolution?

      The Fourth Strini Moodley Annual Memorial Lecture, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 13 May 2010 I In her historical novel, A Place of Greater Safety, which is played out against the backdrop of the Great French Revolution through an illuminating character analysis and synthesis of three of that revolution’s most prominent personalities, viz., Maximilien Robespierre, Georges […]

  • India Needs Course Correction on Iran

    The agreement between Iran, Turkey and Brazil for a swap deal on the stockpile of Tehran’s nuclear fuel sets the stage for a diplomatic pirouette of high significance for regional security.  The paradigm shift affects Indian interests. The Barack Obama administration has hastily debunked the Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal, which was announced in Tehran on Monday, and […]

  • Confront Dow Chemical at the Dow/Live Earth Run for Water

      CALL TO ACTION Organize Events in Your City! Confront Dow Chemical at the Dow/Live Earth Run for Water Tell Dow: You Can’t Run from Your Responsibilities! APRIL 18 2010, 8:00 am Dow Chemical was among the chief producers and profiteers of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.  In addition to wartime exposure resulting in […]

  • The Iran Threat in the Age of Real-Axis-of-Evil Expansion1

    It is intriguing to see how whoever the United States and Israel find interfering with their imperial or dispossession plans is quickly demonized and becomes a threat and target for that Real-Axis-of-Evil (RAE), and hence their NATO allies and, with less intensity, much of the rest of the “international community” (IC, meaning ruling elites, not […]

  • The Travails of a Client State: An Okinawan Angle on the 50th Anniversary of the US-Japan Security Treaty

    “It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and so willingly that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty […]